9 Smart Ways to keep yourself warm when your Furnace/Heater ceases to work

Summer has finally ended. Chilly winds, awesome weather, Winter dresses out of the closet, pancakes, nachos and there you go, the first rain of Winter arrives and all of a sudden you run for turning on the heating appliances but wait! What? Don’t tell that the Furnace is not working! No! It's -3 degrees Fahrenheit people, the time we desperately want our homes to be fully cosy and comfortably warm. Unfortunately, this is the situation that many homeowners have to face; of the unavailability of heating appliances primarily because the appliances were not given an in-time tune-up. So what to do when this happens? How to keep yourself warm when the Furnace/Heater/Boiler ceases to work? Here are some tips to help you fight such circumstances like a smart homeowner.

Winter home heating tips

  • Pack yourself

Did you get it? Yes! cover yourself with undershirts, warmers, tights, knee length socks and fitted warm clothes to avoid the ice-age you are in. Wear woollen mufflers outside and knitted caps inside as they are the warmest of all. Even for the normal conditions, experts say it is better to cover yourself with warm clothes than to run heating appliances all the time.
  • Close the doors

Yes, If you want to protect yourself from cold and numbing air slinking in from the cracks of your doors, windows and skylights, close them! Cover the bottom spaces of doors with foot mats and tightly lock slides of windows to keep the room temperature from decreasing. Also, do not forget the skylights as they play a vital role in cooling the house by pulling the hot air out. Make sure no indoor heat is losing through doors.
  • The oven heats pizza, why can't it heat you?

Ready to make some muffins or cheesecake? Make lots of cookies, crescents and cupcakes and enjoy them. Also, fill the jar for any expected guests. But what’s the hack in here? What does that have to do with you running short of indoor heat? There it is! After baking, leave open the oven door for a while for the heat particles to hug the cold air outside so that the environment gets a little cosy & warm.
  • Hot Water Bottles - Mini DIY heaters

Ever tried hot water bottles for pain relief? They work absolutely amazing for heating your sleeping sheets. Fill a hot water bottle and keep it under your blanket to warm up the whole blanket and the area you’re lying.
  • Carpets to suck coldness

Cover your floor with carpets or rugs in Winter as it will also protect you from getting cold and will prevent the floor from wintry sub-zero frore.
  • Laundry saves you from freezing

It’s difficult to move about in colder temperatures but that is what will help you feel less cold. Generate natural heat by exercising or doing house chores like laundry etcetera. Ever wondered why we feel less cold when busy with work and why begin to shiver when free. This is why!
  • Coffee Love

       For the coffee lovers, that’s your time to avail the opportunity of taking hot beverages as much as you can. So stuff your mouth with your favourite chocolates, look for the perfect tea /coffee flavour, get yourself an Italian cappuccino and voila! You will feel free from the cold outside and experience the warmth deep inside!  
  • Ever tried Acupressure as an alternative of Furnace?

Try learning about some acupressure points which help you in stabilizing your body temperature and producing body heat. Basics can be learned easily from internet. There are some youtube channels run by professionals that can help learn about acupressure.
  • Fabric matters

Buy some velvet bedsheets and avoid those cotton or silk bed covers as they do not get warm as effectively as the velvet or wool bed sheets do. When it comes to Winter shopping, every single choice matters.

We hope these quick hacks would help you guys but better get the furnace repaired or buy a new one to save yourself a fatigue. Be quick to bring your heating fortune back in order to enjoy soothing and warm indoor air with least hassle and unease.

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3 signs your heating system needs an upgrade

Things get old over time, you already know this and when they get old, they lose their actual efficiency. An old cooling system would fail to cool you the way it did and the same would happen to an old heating system. And mind it! This does not happen only when the systems get old, the same consequences need to be faced when the systems; heating, cooling are not given in time maintenance and in time repairs. So there are possibilities that your system will experience the same damages much earlier that it would otherwise have to bear much later. In addition to all that has been said, we also need to give you an interesting insight and here it is; most homeowners think that HVAC systems often break down without any prior signs. This never happens! Heating and cooling appliances and the HVAC system in general shows multiple signs at multiple intervals to inform their homeowner that there's something seriously wrong going on with them. It is insufficient care, lack of regular maintenance and absence of professional diagnosis that worsens the situation and the homeowner never get to know it until the time of repair or the time of changing the system altogether. One the dangers of using outdated and old systems particularly those involving gas or electrical connections is that they can put you and your family's life at risk. Here's our humble attempt to help you figure out when it is time for your system to get an upgrade.

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Rising energy bills and repair cost
What is the sense of dragging a system that gives you fatty energy bills, frequent repairs and yet fails to provide efficient heating? Winters are special and therefore, such a beautiful season should not be spoiled by compromising on the level of indoor comfort by continuing to shiver with cold blows despite the presence of a heating system at home. Whether your system has completed its lifespan or not, if it has started to cause a rise in energy bills and has doubled the repair costs, you should seriously think what you're doing both with the home and with your hard-earned money. Make a wise decision and upgrade the system. Of course, you'd have to spend thousands for a new system but be sure these thousands are worth better than those thousands that you will continue to spend on energy bills and repairs for long and would still be left with a lingering system with insufficient efficiency.

Meant for warmth but doesn't warm
You install a heating system to provide you with warmth when the Winter is cruel outside. What then is the use of a system that is apparently there but totally absent efficiency wise? If your system is too old, take the decision right away, however, if your system, you think, is too new to show such inefficiencies, then call a professional for a proper inspection of the system. As said already, that often times a system shows signs of replacement much earlier than the expected time primarily because of poor maintenance, it is not necessary that your system would stand back up straight after the repairs. Let the professional suggest what needs to be done with the system. If the repair cost is too much and the system is expected to show lesser efficiency than usual even after that, the wisest decision would be to upgrade it.

Too old? Danger at home!
Take for example Furnaces in consideration. It is unfortunate that many homeowners despite knowing that the use of a Red Tag Furnace is prohibited by law continue to use it. And the Red Tag Furnaces are often the old Furnaces. The reason why old systems should be upgraded right away is that they are not only a threat to the property but also to the lives of the homeowners. There are numerous incidents in which the Carbon Monoxide leaks from old Furnaces took the life of the residents and many others in which the fire broke out due to systems that were too old and yet were kept in use. Since the lifetime of a Furnace is 15-20 years, you should seriously think of an upgrade if its 20th birthday has already passed.

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Surprise your loved ones with these HVAC gifts

It is a known fact that giving gifts increases love. Then why not give some HVAC gifts to your loved ones and strengthen your love bonds with them? Well, the thought of giving an HVAC gift might at first seem unusual, the truth is, they are one of the best gift choices that you'll make. Wondering how? Let's check:
While someone would use the jewellery, dress or other such things (usually given as a gift) only occasionally, the HVAC products, on the other hand, would be used constantly at home. And every time, the receiver will look at the gift, your thought and consequently a smile will instantaneously come. That's what you want; to remain in the thoughts of your loved ones, don’t you? In addition, the HVAC products are of everyday use and thus turn out to be most beneficial compared with other conventional gifts.

HVAC Gift Ideas

Thermostats

Nope, we aren't talking about that mercury Thermostat that is hard to handle and hard to repair and can thus keep your dear ones in trouble. Times have changed and so does the Thermostat technology. By gifting the latest technology Thermostat; Smart Thermostat to your loved ones, you can provide them with;
- Improved HVAC efficiency
- Remote Control access to their HVAC system
- Reduced energy bills
- Easy programming up to 7 days
- Energy usage analyzation
and much more. So, when you give this HVAC product as a gift, you gift them all those benefits and every time they're able to enjoy the benefits, you'll be remembered. Awww, lovely!

Air Purifier

Did you know that a person, on average, breathes about 11,000 litres of air a day? And to know how much that is, consider the fact that we only breathe 2 litres of water a day. While we do care about making sure the water we drink is clean, why not make sure of the cleanliness of the air we breathe as well? There are trillions of dust and other air contaminants that go straight into our lungs and become the primary or secondary cause of severe health problems. And mind it! The pollution level is never decreasing, it is continuously rising. Then why not gift a loved one an Air Purifier? And how will your gift benefit them? Your Air Purifier will help them;
- Breathe fresher and healthier air
- Improve indoor air quality
- Get rid of pungent odours
- Protect from smoke hazards (caused by smoker members)
- Help combat viruses
- Help trap pet dander
and more. Just like gifting that simple HVAC product; Thermostat can help your loved ones in multiple ways, gifting this; Air Purifier can do the same. And let's repeat, this will keep you on their mind and will strengthen the love bonds with them.

Psychologists say that the habit of giving gifts has a marvellous effect on the gifter. When someone gives a gift, he is instantaneously filled with the feelings of gratification and high self-esteem. So while you think to make someone happy with a surprise, you are the first person to feel the happiness. We've just given you some wonderful suggestions on what HVAC products to gift. Make sure the gift you give is benefitting for the receiver in multiple ways.
So what are you planning to gift? Thermostat or Air Purifier?
If you're looking for quality HVAC products for gifting your loved ones, connect with us today:

Toll-Free: 1-855-245-4328

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Whole Home VS Portable Humidifier, what to choose?

Although Humidifiers are more frequently used in Winters when there's a drop in environmental moisture, there are yet certain homes and businesses that need to employ Humidifiers throughout the year. Since every home is unique and so are every home's HVAC needs, it is important to know which type of Humidifiers can suit the type of home you have. Before that, make it clear that both whole home and portable Humidifiers have their own pros and cons and that suitability of each one depends not only on the type of home but also on the needs of the homeowners. Let us begin our whole home vs portable Humidifier quest.

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Whole Home & Portable - The difference

Whole-Home Humidifiers are HVAC appliances that are used to add moisture to the indoor air. These units are usually installed with the home's HVAC system (between the return and supply vent) though can operate independently as well. The common Whole-Home Humidifiers include:
Contrary to the Whole-Home units, the Portable units always work independently or in simple words are stand alone appliances. They add moisture to the room/area where they are placed. Just like the Whole-Home units, there are several different types of Portable Humidifiers designed for homes with different needs and homeowners with different requirements. The most common types include:
- Evaporative Humidifiers
- Vaporizers
- Ultrasonic Humidifiers    

Reasons to choose Whole-Home Humidifiers

- As the name suggests, these type of Humidifiers are whole home Humidifiers. Usually installed with the home's HVAC system, these units are compatible with homes where all family members need to have humidified air.
- The capacity of Whole-Home Humidifiers is far greater than the capacity of Portable Humidifiers since they're designed to Humidify a fairly large area.
- One of the factors that add to the positive points of Whole Home Humidifiers is their maintenance needs. Compared with the portable ones, these units require lesser maintenance.
- While the Portable Humidifiers need continuous refilling, the Whole-Home units are attached to the home's plumbing system and keep getting refilled on their own
- There's lesser noise produced by the Whole-Home Humidifiers compared with the Portable Humidifiers. Portable units make noise with the operation and the bubbling water contained in them. These sounds could be irritating for some people.
- When it comes to home comfort, all we want is energy efficient products. The Whole-Home Humidifiers are more efficient and produce Humidification throughout the home using less energy while the Portable Humidifiers humidify only a specific area using relatively more energy.

Reasons to choose Portable Humidifiers

- The biggest advantage of everything portable is that you can take it anywhere with you. The same goes for Portable Humidifiers. They are particularly useful for renters who need to take their appliances along when they move from one place to another
- In addition to that advantage, another benefit of the Portable units is that they can be used to provide a boosted Humidity effect in particular areas of homes. Ideal for homeowners with different humidity needs.
  

Bottom Line

As said earlier, every HVAC appliance has its own pros and cons. The suitability of an appliance varies from place to place and person to person. The best way to make your home comfortable without any financial or comfort risk is to consult a professional or make a detailed research before choosing an appliance.




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Learn how high humidity levels can cause cancer

What? What did you just said? Humidity can cause Cancer?
Nah! I didn't say humidity causes cancer. Here's what I said; High humidity level can cause cancer''
No more curiosity spreading! Let us learn how is that possible but before we do that, here's something to know about Humidity.

High humidity causes cancer

What is Humidity?

Humidity is the amount of moisture/water vapours present in the air. There is a particular level of humidity which must be present in the air for us to breathe easily. That level is between 40% - 50%. Every time the level of Humidity is below normal or above normal, things don't remain as cool as they should be. Which means, be ready for some problem. For example, low level of Humidity causes irritation, itchy eyes, sinus and throat problems etc. Similarly, high level of humidity causes the production of bacteria, heating exhaustion, muscle cramp, fainting, fatigue etc. For a healthy living, the level of humidity in the indoor needs to be kept controlled using Humidifiers or Dehumidifiers as per need.

How can high humidity level cause Cancer?

Studies show that high level of Relative Humidity can allow VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) to exist in high concentration. Could you guess what VOC's are? If not, read on:
VOC is an abbreviation of Volatile Organic Compounds as said already. It refers to all such organic compounds that have a tendency to easily become vapours, gas or in simple words, compounds that can evaporate easily. For example; Air Fresheners, Paints, Varnishes, Wood Preservative, Cleaning Products etc. And the worst thing about these VOC's when they're present in high concentration in the air we breathe is that they can put humans at the risk of eczema, throat and sinus issues, CNS (Central Nervous System) damage and even Cancer. This is how higher than normal humidity level can lead to Cancer, a terminal illness. Remaining in the indoors with high humidity level is synonymous to living under high concentration of VOC's which means....you're risking your health.

How to cope with High Humidity?

To save yourself from the consequences of high Humidity, you have to control the level of moisture on the first hand. Controlled humidity will automatically reduce the health risks that high levels of Humidity put you in. Here are ways to remove excessive humidity from the air.   

1. Use a Dehumidifier. You already know it! A dehumidifier keeps the humidity level controlled and is useful particularly for Summers when the moisture goes out of hand.
2. Dehumidifiers are not cheap and of course, not everyone can afford to purchase them. There's though a cheap alternative that can be used. Silica Gel Bags can be used to absorb moisture from the air. Just place them somewhere in the home and they absorb moisture from the air. Less than $1 Dehumidifier.
3. The level of Humidity raises when there's lack of ventilation. Make sure there's proper ventilation  
4. Water leaks cause moisture and as a consequence increase Humidity in the air. Check for leaks and cracks in the water supply lines, water tanks etc and fix them
5. Set your AC on 'Auto' instead of 'ON'. This allows the Air Conditioner to dehumidify the indoor air since the longer it operates, the more it will dehumidify

Bottom Line
Excess of everything is bad. The same is true for moisture in the air and is, therefore, needs to be kept maintained else it leads to serious health problems. If you're facing high humidity problem, try using the above-mentioned ways. But in case, you're already trying all the possible ways, and the humidity is still out of control, try calling in a professional to check what's wrong.

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Ductless System Maintenance

Ductless or Mini-Split heating and cooling systems are getting popular in Canada with every passing year. The sales of these systems have increased particularly in those areas where there are older homes with no ductwork installed. One of the biggest benefits that these Ductless/Mini Split Air Conditioners provide is that they are easy to install and can be mounted anywhere in the house as easily as with a few drill holes. In addition to being easy to install, they are easy to maintain and easy to repair. But maintenance nonetheless in important for all types of systems be they Duct or Ductless.
If you're a homeowner with a Ductless Air Conditioning system at home, here are some tips to consider for maintenance;

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Ductless Air Conditioner Preventive Maintenance

We always suggest homeowners consider professional maintenance and tune up services at least once a year, however, there are some maintenance measures that homeowners can take themselves. A regular maintenance not only improves an appliance's efficiency but also increases its lifetime.
But before you set up your boat for maintenance, keep in mind to shut off all types of power supply.

Filter Cleaning

The Ductless or the Mini Split systems have an indoor evaporator unit. This unit is equipped with Filters that are meant to trap dust and debris. These filters if not cleaned regularly affect the system's efficiency. Although it is recommended to follow the user manual to check how often does your unit need cleaning, it is better to clean more often if you're allergic or have pets at home.

Condenser Cleaning

The second component that comes in DIY maintenance tasks is the condenser cleaning, Switch the power supply off and using a garden hose, spray dust and debris on the unit mainly on the coil. It is highly recommended to avoid high pressure since it can cause the fins of the fan to curve. If accidentally, some fins get curved, straighten them using a special alignment comb before turning the unit on.

Ductless System Maintenance Checklist

As said earlier, it is highly recommended to let a professional technician examine your unit at least once a year. And to make sure that the professional you hired has done a complete job, here's a checklist:

Check Electrical Connections

All connection inside and outside the unit are checked to stop the possibilities of any short circuiting, wire damage and overheating. Not only are these connection need to be checked, the faulty ones should be repaired as well.

Check Run Capacitor

Run capacitors need to be checked for leaks, bulging or deformation. In case a Run Capacitor is found to be faulty, a technician is supposed to replace it.

Check Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant Leaks if not suspected and fixed in time give way to serious repair needs. All the refrigerant lines need to be checked for any possible leaks. The leaks should be patched or lines replaced.

Check Drain Hose
From the evaporator unit, the hose that runs condensation should also be on a professional's checklist. The hose should be able to allow a free flow of condensation.

If all the above mentioned preventive maintenance tips are practised, an annual maintenance tune-up from a professional is taken and any repairs whenever needed are fixed in time, the appliance is 80% likely to last longer than other's and most likely to complete (or even surpass) its lifetime.

   

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6 Things to expect from an HVAC Maintenance technician

Normally, people who call professional HVAC service providers for maintenance are the people who either don't have time for maintenance of appliances or they have insufficient knowledge to perform the maintenance themselves. In both cases, a technician comes and goes and the homeowner remains unaware of what the technician was supposed to do and what he did. Understand the fact that not all services are honest services and not all technicians committed workmen. In order to make sure you invested at the right place and was able to enjoy the due benefit, it is essential to at least know what tasks an HVAC professional is supposed to perform when he comes for a maintenance visit. This will help you have an ultimate service of your system and the investment on maintenance will return on good terms.
Here is what you should expect from an HVAC technician on a maintenance visit.

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1: System Check Up

Remember that we’re talking about HVAC maintenance visit, not an Air Conditioner or Furnace Maintenance alone. So, on a complete system checkup visit, a technician is supposed to check the whole system including the Ductwork, the Appliances attached i.e Air Conditioner, Furnace, Humidifier/Air Cleaner and the gadgets attached i.e Thermostat etc. A whole system check-up is supposed to be performed to make sure everything's working well.

2. Safety Check

In addition to the whole system check up for optimal system performance, a technician is supposed to perform a general safety check as well to make sure there are no loopholes in the system that could prove to be dangerous for the system.

3. Cleaning

The benefit of taking professional maintenance services is that you don't have to take the worry of system cleaning. On a maintenance visit, cleaning of all HVAC components, vents and sometimes the cleaning of ductwork is included.

4. Check for Repairs

Since you've called a professional because you couldn't do it yourself, it is the professional who is required to check the system for any possible repair needs or replacement needs and inform the homeowner of it.

5.  Answering questions

If your technician performed the maintenance tasks and left without answering the questions you had, he performed not a complete job. It is a maintenance technician's responsibility to answer the questions of the homeowners if they have any and to suggest them the ways to keep up their system. So next time a technician comes, don't hesitate to ask him anything (regarding the HVAC system of course! What else did you think?)  

6. Maintenance Report

For your reference, a written report is to be provided by the technician to you at the end so that you know what exactly did he do if you personally haven't been around. It is sort of a written record that helps later on further maintenance visits.

Bottom Line

Have you ever taken a professional maintenance service? Did you make sure your technician performed all the above-mentioned tasks? If not, do it from now. Although it is highly suggested to be around when your HVAC technician is performing the maintenance but if you couldn't be available, make sure to read the Maintenance report carefully when provided and give a quick check to those things the maintenance of which have been made. This will help you make sure that you didn't litter your money and had chosen the right service.   

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